Home Again St. Johns’ goal is to create the solution that works here in our community. Identifying the appropriate location for a one-stop center to serve the homeless is the key next step to development of this long-term solution.

Home Again St. Johns was created by a group of concerned business leaders searching for an answer to tactically address increase in homelessness in St. Augustine and St. Johns County. All homeless services stakeholders were invited to collaborate in an effort to create solutions to end homeliness. Home Again St. Johns was a work group from 2008 until 2011 bringing strategic community members together to create real solutions to the problems faced by the homelessness community members. In 2011, Home Again St. Johns became a nonprofit organization to better help organize and fundraise to solve the problem of homelessness.

Home Again St. Johns has had an incredible impact in the St. Johns County homeless services arena of in a very short period, the agency has been able to change the conversation of how to affectively serve the homeless, and provide programs aimed at finding a way to end homelessness in St. Johns County. Currently, the agency has the one-of-its kind, successful HASJ Street Outreach Team and a scaled version of the planned drop-in center with weekly services provided on site by other local homeless agency providers; coupled free showers, laundry and meals. It is important to note that Home Again St. Johns has recently been named as the St. Johns County Continuum of Care Collaborative Applicant/Lead Agency, further highlighting the local belief and support in the ability of Home Again St. Johns to successfully coordinate homeless agencies and services.

The next step of the collaborative effort is the plan for the 13.5 areas of land on which Home Again St. Johns is currently housed for a “Unified Service Center,” to offer an expanded integrated, single-access center for multiple agencies unified to provide homeless prevention and aid services, office space, a food bank, and cafeteria; there will be a medical center and a housing development.  Currently, Home Again St. Johns leases the property for $1 a year from the Salvation Army and intends to lease the land for the housing units to a housing-based nonprofit organization who has the long-term, proven success record in building supportive housing; for that same $1 a year.  This is the right location for St. Johns County, and has the vigorous support of our neighbors, the St. Johns County government and local businesses, as it meets the proximity to those in need and has the opportunity for growth. Home Again currently provides transportation to the site and the local bus system has agreed to put a bus stop on the premises so to address the question of homeless individuals and families ease of access to the location.

In 2014, Home Again St. Johns opened a Drop In Center at their offices where those living in the woods, in their cars and on the streets may come to take a hot shower and wash their clothes free of charge. A hot, nutritious meal is also served each night the Drop In Center is open.

Street Outreach services by Home Again St. Johns were also strengthened in 2014 with the donation of a 14- passenger van which is being used to deploy teams of professionals and volunteers into areas where the homeless are known to have found temporary shelter. Whenever possible, the teams include a medical professional, a social or mental health professional, and a law enforcement community resource officer. Each team locates and identifies the homeless, assessing their conditions, and distributing needed supplies.